With gorgeous mountains, pristine lakes and untamed wilderness on its doorstep, the city of Whistler is an action junkie's paradise. Hiking, skiing, mountain climbing and river rafting are some of Whistler's biggest tourist attractions. But if trekking up a mountain or riding down a river is not your cup of tea, the city also has all the conveniences of a larger city, from shopping and sightseeing to wining and dining. It truly is one of those unique towns that encompasses the best of both worlds. Each neighborhood has something to offer, so why not start exploring right away?
The village is the main hub of Whistler. With over 200 stores, there is something to meet everyone's retail needs. It has everything from charming independent shops such as,
The Upper village area of Whistler is where many of the outdoors activities happen. Many access points to trailheads and slopes can be found here, along with countless other businesses such as the
This area of town is the place to go to for adventure and adrenaline.
Alpine Meadows/Nicklaus North
This area of town is the place to head to if you're thinking about hitting the slopes. The mountains surrounding Whistler are known for having some of the best skiing and snowboarding trails around. There are several companies to go through, such as
This area is home to Whistler's great summertime tradition -
Just up from Whistler's Upper Village is Blackcomb Mountain, an idyllic pedestrian-only area, which filters into both the Village Center and the glorious mountain. This area of town is one of the most exciting and luxurious. Some of the best hotels in the area are located here, like
Alta Vista/Blueberry Hill
Head over to this area of town for some beach time summer fun! The
This area is home to one of the most extreme biking businesses available to visitors.
With so much so close, there is no dispute that Whistler's primary appeal is its incredible natural beauty and some of the world's most exciting outdoor activities. But as awe-inspiring as Whistler's natural attributes are, much of its development as a premier destination is result of world-class lodging that keeps visitors warm and cozy. Whistler boasts a wonderful array of accommodation options, from luxurious mountain chalets to economical hotels.
The finest Whistler has to offer is proudly offered to those willing and able to afford it. A number of outstanding five-star hotels are along the Whistler Village mountainside. Those fortunate enough to experience these first-class getaways soon find that relaxation can be just as exciting as any day spent carving the ski slopes. The Westin Resort & Spa , fitted into the natural landscape of Whistler Mountain, will pamper you with unrivaled service, luxurious amenities and of course, rich, breathtaking surroundings. Depending on whether you prefer to be slope-side or in the heart of vibrant Whistler Village, The Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside and The Pan Pacific Whistler Village Centre aim to impress with opulent suites situated in what are often dubbed Whistler's two best addresses. Just to the north, considered the flagship hotel resort in the area, The Fairmont Chateau Whistler has been consistently ranked among the top Ski and Golf resorts in North America. At this deluxe slope-side accommodation, the best of Whistler is literally at your doorstep. The Fairmont Chateau Whistler sits just at the base of Blackcomb Mountain, allowing you to ski in and out of North America's best slopes right from your room. In the summer, you may wish to stroll up to the first tee at the lush Robert Trent Jones Jr. designed golf course that lines the hotel.
Of course, the excellence of Whistler resorts and hotels is also available for slightly more moderate rates. A number of fine four-star accommodations allow you to rest peacefully in the splendor of Whistler on a reasonable budget. The pet-friendly Summit Lodge & Spa offers unparalleled convenience to Whistler Village with service and amenities you might expect to find in the luxurious five-star resorts. If you're looking for a family-friendly, full-feature condo or even a romantic suite with ready access to Whistler's famous restaurants and clubs, turn to the always popular Delta Whistler Village Suites . Also in the center of town, the slope-side Mountainside Lodge is home to one of Whistler's favourite restaurants, Trattoria di Umberto . Visitors to Whistler looking for a quieter vacation getaway without the hustle and bustle of the lively Whistler Village find First Tracks Lodge a more than worthy, cozy alternative, located in nearby Creekside.
For those on a stricter budget, looking for value while staying in Whistler, the options are also plentiful. Just a three-minute walk to the Village lifts, the Tantalus Lodge offers two-bedroom suites, each equipped with a full kitchen and fireplace. The site also offers an outdoor pool, volleyball courts, and bbq facilities. Its no wonder this is a popular choice of large families and groups of young people. Possibly the best value in town, Pinnacle International Hotel, looks and feels like some of the more exclusive Whistler accommodations, but surely won't leave you broke. Also, one of Whistler's favorite restaurants, Quattro at Whistler is located on site.
Whether its a five-star honeymoon or a fun packed family vacation, Whistler and the excitement of all its natural blessings are made accessible by a variety of accommodations that are bound to make your stay a memorable one.
With the arrival of the first snow at Whistler, this small town gears up for its world-class winter season. But the typical slopes are not the only options for profiting from this abundance of snow. More advanced skiers will enjoy Powder Mountain Catskiing Ltd., a company that takes a groups of 12 high up into the Coastal Range to find the best powder skiing runs virtually untouched by other skiers. No lines, no waiting, and a long, exciting ski down the face await you! Definitely not novice skiers. Not much of a skier at all? Hop on a Sno-Limo and glide down the slopes in luxury. The Sno-Limo Mountain Ecotouring Inc. offers you the ride of a lifetime! Their custom-built chairs are designed with skis on the bottom and handles for the instructor, so all you have to do is sit back and relax and get whisked down the slopes in comfort. Snowmobiles are a fun way to explore the mountain with speed and comfort with Canadian Snowmobile Adventures. Equally fantastic is the opportunity to ski or snowboard the obscure slopes with your own helicopter chauffeur. Whistler Heli-Skiing and Coast Range Heliskiing Ltd. offers intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders a prestigious and private experience in the Coastal Range. Journey back in time to the time before motorized snow vehicles and glide along the snow behind a team of huskies. The winter landscape shall be at your fingertips with Whistler Dogsledding in their various tours of the mountains around Whistler. The early winter months are also the time when Bald Eagles are most easy to spot near Brackendale. Take a bus out to Bald Eagle Viewing and witness the majesty of these great birds as they nest and hunt for salmon in the river. Need to get away from the kids? Want to rekindle your romance? Take an old-fashioned sleigh ride with Blackcomb Horsedrawn Sleigh Rides and get the fire started. A lovely activity in itself, the sleigh ride can also include a delicious fondue dinner, hot cocoa, and a bonfire to top off a perfect evening.
Family Fun Tour
Though known mainly for its world-class skiing, Whistler is also a great place to bring the whole family for some outdoor bonding time. Winter or summer, an incredible variety of activities await you! Start the day at beautiful Rainbow Park located on the shore of Lake Alta. A perfect place for a family picnic, the park has a long bike trail, large grassy areas, mature trees, and panoramic natural beauty. Sandy beaches and shallow waters make this a great place to stay for the day, or simply for a quick and fun outing! If your family is feeling adventurous, head to Peak Adventure or Wedge Rafting, both will be the trip of a lifetime! The Peak Adventure includes a gondola ride to the Lodge, a chairlift to the base of the mountain, and a ride to the top! From there hiking and truly stunning 360 degree views of Whistler await you. Wedge Rafting is also a great option, from full day journeys to two-and-a-half hour trips. Everything is included, and you only need to bring your family and some sun block. Wetsuits, boots, rafting equipment, and transportation to and from the base is provided. Another great place for families (especially kids) is Whistler Blackcomb's Whistler Kids, where children of all ages participate in a variety of nature based activities, summer and winter. Kids will be ecstatic at the prospect of horseback riding, snowboarding, or archery. It's no wonder that Whistler draws so many nature lovers season after season!
While Whistler's fame derives primarily from its snowy slopes, the spring melt washes in a host of topnotch fair weather fun. Pass an unforgettable vacation in this mountain resort exploring the region's infinite possibilities. Start out with a trip crashing through the rapids in the magnificent scenery with Whistler River Adventures. Continue your exploration by land on horseback at Horseback Riding and survey the land from the peaks. Although the ocean is out of reach, the Beaches at Alta Lake are a lovely spot to take a dip and bask in the sun. Bring a picnic and make a day of it. Or enjoy your open-air Saturday lunch in the fields, sampling the local flavors at Feast of Fields . For lessons on all the ins and outs of fishing, Valley Fishing Guides Ltd. will teach you where and how to find that big catch.
Named for the shrill whistle sound of the Western Hoary Marmot, "Whistler" was not always a vacation playground. The Coast Salish First Nations people inhabited the land around Whistler for many thousands of years, hunting and gathering and living a nomadic lifestyle long before European settlers arrived.
The Whistler Valley was an isolated wilderness frequented by the Lil'wat Nation from the Mount Currie area and the Squamish Nation who lived in an area stretching from present day North Vancouver to the Squamish River watershed and the northern area of Howe Sound (Gibson's Landing). Whistler was often a way point for First Nation trading routes between the Squamish and Lil'wat Nations as it was rich with wildlife and resources. At one time tens of thousands of Coast Salish First Nations people lived, traded and thrived in the areas between Vancouver, Howe Sound and the Lillooett areas. In fact, some of the hiking routes between Howe Sound and Deep Cove (east of Vancouver) are the same routes traveled on by the Coast Salish First Nations peoples.
With the opening of the Pemberton Trail north of Vancouver in 1877, trappers and fur traders began to move to the area, bringing back with them a surge of interest in the natural beauty and incredible wildlife of what was then Alta Lake. Word spread and many families began packing up their lives to start anew on the cheap land and burgeoning logging industry. Soon after families and settlers began arriving, the name Whistler was decided, paying homage to its local rodents.
It wasn't until 1914 with the arrival of The Great Pacific Eastern Railway when Whistler was officially linked to the outside world. The arrival signified the start of what would be a massive industry of mining and logging shaping the future look of Whistler and the surrounding areas. Soon after the areas first settlers, Myrtle and Alex Philip, bought their ten acres of land and built the Rainbow Lodge on Alta Lake, other settlers gradually began coming, building lodges and hotels of their own. With the abundant fish stocks, excellent weather, and natural beauty, scores of people began making the trip to Whistler, establishing the area as a top summer destination, long before it was a winter one; even more popular than Jasper or Banff!
Beginning in the 1950's, Whistler made a virtue out of its extreme weather conditions with a gravel road to Squamish that was carved from the cliffs of Howe Sound enabling many to safely make the five-hour trip into and around the area from Vancouver. At this time, the Garibaldi Whistler Mountain was named, creating a lodge, double ski-lift, gondola and a subsequently serious ski industry. Since then Whistler has made a name for itself in winter sports, having one of the largest ski resorts in North America, Blackcomb, and having been awarded (along with Vancouver) as the site for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Whistler has, and will always be, a top destination for the avid historian, sports enthusiast, or outdoorsman for generations to come.